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Research at the intersection of science, application, and design

Our research is embedded at the intersection of Additive Manufacturing, Functional Matter, and Computational Design. We develop fabrication processes that enhance the structural complexity, material versatility, and throughput speed in 3D printing. We employ modern computational tools, such as numerical modeling, optimization and machine learning, to explore this unprecedented design space. The results are (meta)materials, structures, and processes with outstanding properties and novel functionality.

In the past, this allowed us to precicely control the fiber-alignment in composite materials; to fabricate lightweight structures that overcome the mutual exclusivity between strength and toughness; to design smart textiles that autonomously adapt to changes in the environment; to build active lattices that can seemlessly switch from hard to soft; and to manufacture soft robotic walkers that achieve record-breaking speeds when crawling off the print platform -- among many other examples. Our work has been published in high-impact journals like Advanced Materials, PNAS, and Nature, and received worldwide interest from several media outlets, including The Boston Globe, MIT Technology Review, and NBC.

In the future, we will to continue this direction and draw even more from the symbiosis of the often decoupled research areas. We are further interested in utilizing our capabilities and achievements to advance – and utilize – state-of-the-art technologies for the social good. Towards this goal, we recently secured funding for our project Next-​​Generation Prosthetics: Towards the end of disability via digital fabrication and are excited to take this field to the next level.

"How can we utilize machine intelligence in the development of materials, structures, and processes with new functionalities and outstanding properties?"

Featured Project:

New 3D printer makes multi-material robots

3D printers can create a huge variety of shapes, usually deposited layer by layer using a single material. Creating objects made from several materials is possible, but switching between the different printable substances has so far been a slow process. Now, a new printhead co-developed by the Muelelr Lab allows for rapid 3D printing of detailed objects with multiple materials.